Domenica, 24 Marzo 2019
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MILAN

Appeals court upholds Saviano conviction for libel

English
© ANSA

Milan, June 4 - A civil appeals court in Milan on
Wednesday upheld the libel conviction of famed anti-mafia writer
Roberto Saviano for defamatory statements in his runaway
bestseller Gomorrah, about the Casalesi clan of the Neapolitan
Camorra mafia.
The appeals court confirmed the November ruling of a lower
court that Saviano must pay 30,000 euros in damages to Enzo
Boccolato for insinuating involvement in the La Torre clan.
"The statements contained in the book are objectively
offensive, and the veracity of the news was not proven, in the
evocative way that emerges from the sentences of the published
text," the ruling read.
The offending text on page 291 of the book flanks
statements made by a justice informant with "the author's
considerations about Boccolato's involvement in illegal
activities of the La Torre clan," the ruling said.
The court is also holding the book's publisher, Mondadori,
accountable.
A petition made by Boccolato's lawyers for one million
euros in damages, however, was rejected.
Boccolato's defense lawyers Alessandro Santoro, Sandra
Salvigni and Daniela Mirabile claimed Boccolato deserves
additional damages in recognition of the fact that "Saviano and
Mondadori, heedless of the two sentences that have already
occurred, reiterate the defamation of Mr. Vincenzo Boccolato
through the continued reprinting of the celebrated book Gomorrah
without providing the cancellation of the sentences 'established
as defamatory' and without even citing the libel conviction in
reprints".
The lawyers said their client has lived for years in
Venezuela, "has no criminal record and above all is extraneous
to any Camorra activity".
Roberto Saviano said in February his acclaimed book that
lifted the lid on the Neapolitan Camorra mafia had not been
worth it because of death threats that have forced him into
hiding and led him to fear for his sanity.
Saviano, who has been in round-the-clock police protection
since Gomorrah came out in 2006, told Spanish daily
El Pais the sensational bestselling expose' that focused on the
then little-known and particularly ferocious Casalesi clan
"ruined my life" and he regretted the "ambition" that made him
write it.
The 34-year-old Naples-born writer said he could have
revealed the inner workings of the Camorra's empire "with the
same commitment and courage but with prudence, without
destroying everything".
"I was too impetuous, too ambitious," Saviano told El Pais.

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